Retail First Shopping Centres continue to join forces with Share the Dignity.

With over 100,000 Australian women and teenaged girls going without female sanitary products every month because they cannot afford them, due to homelessness, poverty and domestic violence situations, Share the Dignity and Retail First Shopping Centres hope to make a real, on-the-ground difference with the April Dignity donation drive.

Instigated and organised by charity organisation Share the Dignity, the initiative seeks to provide the basic essentials for women and girls in crisis by making a call out for tampons, pads and personal hygiene products to distribute to women nationwide.

Dignity founder Rochelle Courtenay said the organisation, through this donation drive, helps in some small way to alleviate the undignified situations that thousands of women across the country endure.

“So many women every month have to forfeit sanitary products because they cannot afford them. Many mothers must choose between buying tampons and feeding their children. Girls miss out on school simply because families cannot afford to buy the basics of necessities,” stressed Ms Courtenay.

“When they cannot have access to the essential feminine products, women become extremely resourceful…by using wadded up newspaper, or toilet paper, or socks. This should not be happening.”

Ms Courtenay said she was thrilled to have Retail First shopping centres on board to provide donation points across South East Queensland and to help create further awareness of the need to restore dignity for women and girls in crisis.

“The donation drive has an overall target of 200,000 packets of tampons and pads. This is a huge number and so the more awareness and opportunities for consumers to donate, the more women and girls we will be able to assist. We are excited to have the shopping centre group involved as their contribution has made a serious impact on the total drive,” Ms Courtenay said.

Retail First Head of Marketing, Ms Bec Gascoigne said that Retail First Shopping Centres are excited to be part of the Share the Dignity drive as it is a wonderful opportunity for everyday shoppers to help a local woman or teenaged girl in need.

“Our customers are so generous and it creates a wonderful opportunity for everyday shoppers to help local women and teenaged girls in need. Something as simple and inexpensive as a packet of tampons will make a great difference to a young Queensland woman in need next month,” Ms Gascoigne said.

“Rochelle’s stories about women and girls in crisis touched our hearts and we shed tears hearing of young girls not going to school while they have their period. We knew we had to continue to be involved in this very worthy donation drive.”

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